Genocide by Aaron Lebold
"This is what happens when Jack Kerouac has a baby with a Saw Movie!" --Jennifer Anne Gordon, author of PRETTY/UGLY and BEAUTIFUL, FRIGHTENING, AND SILENT.
*Warning: This work deals heavily with the subject of physical and psychological abuse.
Brutal and Engaging
This is not a light read. I'll say that right up front. But it's a book that you can't turn away from. From the beginning you are sucked into this story and experience it all through the eyes of the young narrator. From the very start, you know you are in for a intense experience. This narrator's family is real and the experiences are rooted in reality which makes everything that follows so relatable. And the way it is told is visceral. From drugs, to abuse, to the lies and the loss of innocence; your heart breaks a little but you still can't turn away. When the abuse and the violence ramp up and the unthinkable because routine, you have to follow it through to the end. And hope that this revenge story delivers. And it does. Oh boy, does it. No detail is spared, which is good, because you don't want to miss a thing. I can't recommend Genocide enough. Five well deserved stars.
A Bold and Brutal Story
Genocide is a different kind of horror story. It’s not necessarily scary, but it is horrifying. It’s a story about real-world, real-life horrors. There’s no artistic embellishment or deep symbolism, there’s only the horror and the telling of a tale about that of which we do not like to speak. It is a brutal and evocative story both in content and effect. These are the horrors that haunt us, the things we truly fear but don’t want to talk about. Aaron Lebold has written Genocide in a very direct and simple first person. It fits the character who is telling the story perfectly. And the character’s telling of the story is eerily, disconcertingly authentic. This is much more than the revenge tale the synopsis alludes to. In fact, to me, it isn’t really a revenge tale so much as it is a horror thriller about how the mind of an abused child breaks over time, the horrors of the altered self, and the terrors that come of it. But perhaps I can relate to the character too much. Genocide could be called a Ripped-from-the-Headlines Horror Thriller if the media dared to discuss the atrocities behind the atrocities, if people cared to care, if we were not afraid to acknowledge such things. Aaron Lebold dares to take this horror thriller to the greatest social taboo: the horrors born from the breaking of an abused child. He does it with skill and without graphic abuse scenes. This a story about a child growing up experiencing things and emotions he cannot understand and how he ultimately deals with them. It is full of gut-wrenching sequences, nail-biting tension, and true-life horrors. It is bold and moving, a great read for those who do not shy away from non-gratuitous child abuse in horror fiction.